58 new COVID-19 cases in Garfield County since Monday, public health officials confirm
Despite confirming 58 new COVID-19 cases since Monday, Garfield County Public Health officials say the current positivity rate is beginning to stabilize.
“We haven’t continued to see a huge spike,” Public Health Specialist Mason Hohstadt told Garfield County commissioners during a special meeting Friday afternoon. “As of right now, I don’t foresee us going above the last week’s period.”
As of Oct. 22, according to statistical reports from Garfield County Public Health, the positivity rate was 5.6%. That rate grew to 7.6% as of Friday afternoon.
Following Gov. Jared Polis’ Wednesday press conference, which urged Colorado residents to remain vigilant this Halloween, Hohstadt said the county’s currently working with the state to begin COVID-19 mitigation.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky – who on Monday said, “This commissioner is not going to stand for going back to orange,” – asked Hoshtadt during Friday’s special meeting if the positivity has “plateaued at the high end.”
“Hopefully,” said Hohtsadt.
Hohstadt did report, however, that the county’s dealing with “community spread,” which over the past two-week cycle has accounted for 40% of cases within the county.
“You can look at the community spread and our test positivity rate as two sides of a coin,” Hohstadt explained. “Basically, anything above 5%, there are cases we are not being able to find and test over. And the second thing with that, the community spread – those are cases in which the individual is not sure or does not come specially from a known exposure.”
However, hospitalizations decreased by one within the county since Monday.
“We also keep a pretty close eye on what St. Mary’s Hospital and Community Hospital (both in Grand Junction) has as admissions and what their hospitalization cases look like, because that’s where our hospitals transfer to,” Garfield County Public Health Director Yvonne Long said. “As of such, we currently have three Garfield County residents at St. Mary’s.”
So far, hospitals within the county have consistently stayed below capacity.
“That’s been one of our saving graces in the county,” Hohstadt said.
Prior to the end of Friday’s special meeting, the commission advised residents to remain home this Halloween, although trick-or-treating is still allowed.
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A fire in a building at Willits Town Center Thursday night forced Roaring Fork Fire Rescue to prepare for the worst because of residences on the upper two stories. Fortunately the fire was confined to an HVAC unit on the roof.